Turkey: Erdogan presents unconvincing human rights plan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (here February 10, 2021) said he wanted to strengthen freedom of expression.


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Regularly accused of authoritarian drift, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled on Tuesday, March 2 the outline of an "action plan" supposed to expand human rights in Turkey.


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The Turkish authorities claim to have consulted since 2019 more than 1,500 people - including human rights NGOs - to prepare the action plan presented on Tuesday by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But after an hour of speeches and dozens of announcements that are sometimes very vague or on the contrary very technical, the progress is far from meeting the expectations of human rights defenders.

The Head of State said in particular that he wanted to strengthen freedom of expression, assuring that " 

no one could be deprived of their liberty for having expressed a criticism


While immediately adding: " 

insofar as they respect the personal rights of others


Such a limitation will therefore not prevent the opening, each year, of thousands of trials for “ 

insulting the head of state

 ”, observes our correspondent in Istanbul,

Anne Andlauer


To read also: Judged for having "insulted" Erdogan, two actors acquitted

On another eagerly awaited point, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has certainly set as an objective the limitation of preventive detention measures, but he has announced nothing either to strengthen the independence of the courts, or to guarantee the application of the Court's decisions. European Human Rights Council, nor to restrict the legal definition of the crime of “terrorism”, as the EU calls for.

The president however affirmed that this action plan should allow his country to meet all the criteria defined by the European Union to exempt Turkish citizens from Schengen visas.

The announcements of this Tuesday come indeed before a summit in Brussels on March 25 during which the European leaders must examine a “road map” on the future of the relations with Turkey.

Relations between Ankara and Western countries have deteriorated since 2016, in particular because of the purges launched by Recep Tayyip Erdogan against opponents, critical media and civil society after a failed coup.

To listen also: Erdogan with feet of clay


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  • Turkey

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan

  • Human rights